The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

September 13, 2013

Gracie Ann Fast

Published 9-13-13


Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Gracie Ann Fast was born Aug. 27, 1931, in Dalhart, Texas, to Jacob A. and Agnes (Pauls) Sawatzky. She came into the presence of the Lord on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, at her home.

With the passage of the Dust Bowl through the Texas panhandle, Gracie moved with her family to Weatherford, Okla., in 1934. She grew up with three siblings and graduated from Corn Bible Academy in 1949. A favorite memory of hers was sitting on the hilltop behind her father’s gas station on old Route 66, counting Chevys and Fords with her sisters. She continued her schooling at Southwestern Oklahoma College in Weatherford and taught English at Oklahoma Bible Academy in Meno for two enjoyable years.

She married Vernon Fast in 1954, and they began their life together in Fairview and lived in Fairview nearly their entire married life of 59 years.

Gracie was a hard worker and supported Vernon in many endeavors as a positive and encouraging influence. Vernon and Gracie became parents to Cindy LeAnn and Cherri LaNell. She enjoyed life both as a wife and mother.

Gracie loved music and playing her record albums especially Handel’s Messiah at Christmas time. Gracie enjoyed her home the last 20 years, caring for her flowers and roses and watching the birds and squirrels from the back porch.

The Lord blessed Gracie since she was a young lady with a calm, good nature and positive spirit. She loved her church and was active by teaching her adult ladies Sunday school class for many years, being a Pioneer Girl Guide and Pal, and church librarian. She would always study the Bible before Sunday school, even when she could no longer attend.

Gracie relied mightily on the Lord during her life. When asked at the age of 76 how she dealt with being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease at age 53, she simply replied, “I knew God would take care of me.”

Gracie’s life was not about her constant struggle to maintain her dignity and normal life, but rather her Christian walk, her family, and the many blessings God bestowed upon her. She was wonderfully sustained by her unwavering faith in God.

Gracie is survived by her husband, Vernon; daughters, Cindy and husband Dan Haney of Booneville, Ark., and Cherri and husband Mark Calvert of Broken Arrow, Okla.; three grandchildren, Elizabeth and John Justice of Monroe, La., Andrew and Becca Haney of Conway, Ark., and Timothy and Laura Calvert of Dallas, Texas; two great-grandchildren, Brayden and Layla Haney; a sister, Ruby Berg of Salem, Ore.; and sister-in-law, Lera Sawatzky of Weatherford.

She was preceded in death by her parents; brother, A.J. Sawatzky; and sister, Elizabeth Sawatzky.

Gracie was blessed to have been loved by wonderful ladies – Carla Schmidt, Bernice Nichols, Jenny Corkery, Nellie Madrid, Robin Cofer, Emalee Wedel and Katie Fletcher, whose kindness and compassionate care enabled her to enjoy her last few years.

Visitation will be held from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. today, Sept. 13, 2013, at Pierce Funeral Home, Fairview. Funeral service will be 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, at Fairview Mennonite Brethren Church, with Pastor Marlin Hiett officiating. Interment will follow in the South Mennonite Brethren Cemetery under the direction of Pierce Funeral Home, Fairview.

Pallbearers will be Andrew Haney, John Justice, Kent Sawatzky, Malcolm McCune, Dan Gasparovic, Don Berg, Roger Fast, Randall Fast and Kent Schlotthauer.

Memorials may be made to Fairview M.B. Church Library or Wycliffe Bible Translators, with the funeral home serving as custodian at P.O. Box 15, Fairview, OK 73737.

Condolences may be made online at www.haiglerpierce.com.

(Submitted by family)